BY : angelofinnocence
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 866
Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VIII, nor any of the characters from the game. I make no profit from the writing of this work of fiction.

Interlude One: Pretty Painted Prophecies

Gossamer cobwebs swayed in the forgotten eddies in the air. Torches hung on the stone walls. A portly sweating man ran down the hall at a brisk pace. An experienced pace to travel distance while maintaining appropriate dignity. He was wheezing by the time he reached the stair down into the lower levels of the dark stone castle. With renewed vigor only a lifetime of serving can muster, the man sucked in a new breath, and his gut and began to hurry down the stairs. The messenger had reached him first, but it would only be a matter of time before the king was made aware. He had sworn to tell his Queen first. He nearly fell down the stairs in his haste, coming to a stop just in front of an ornate and heavy wooden door. Once again, the man composed himself, calming his wheezing lungs, and straightening his clothes and wig. Finally, with a deep breath and a singular hard knock, he opened the door.

"M'lady," his timid voice called in the darkness of the castle's underbelly.

A low growl emanated from a stone work table against the far wall, lit by one flickering candle. A skeletal arm etched with dark runes sat on the surface of the stone table in front of a large, nude wolfish creature. Golden eyes magnified by glimmering lenses revealed the ebb and flow of energies in the bone, never once turning to look upon the servant.

"What is it?" the tall, slim female questioned in a demanding tone, clearly irritated by the interruption in the ritual she was performing.

"Reports of a dragon with breath of ice have come in from one of the villages to the south,” was the curt and to the point response she received.

The anthropomorphic wolfess froze. Slowly reaching up and removing the lenses from her forehead and setting them onto the table next to the rune encrusted bone and slanted those knowing golden eyes in the direction of the servant, whom servant shifted back and forth on nervous feet beneath her sudden scrutiny.

"Y-you asked to be informed of this before the king if possible."

The wolf pushed herself away from the workbench abruptly and stood up, turning to fully face the nervous servant. "Indeed. You’ve done well."

The servant seemed relieved by her words, relaxing ever so slightly. She walked towards the wall, picking up a flowing robe and slipping into it, tying it at the waist to cover her body from view. The embroidery mimicked the play of the flickering light on the shadows as she walked past the servant without another word, leaving the servant to return to his duties. She would inform her king. As she began to take the first steps up the stairway, she paused as the servant spoke up once more.

"M'lady, there were also reports, of a large man, who rode a dragon the colour of midnight. They recovered his greatsword after a small skirmish in one of the outer towns," he spoke quickly, not wanting to waste the Queen’s precious time any more than was necessary, "It was him, m'lady."

She hummed her acknowledgement, a small smile revealing sharp fanged teeth before she continued up the stairs without a backwards glance, silent but for the whisper of her long robe on the cold stone. She made several quick stops along her way in preparation for her king’s reaction to the news she now had for him.

She pulled out the braid that held her long black hair up, running her hands though and fluffing it out as she made her way to the throne room. A brief moment was spent outside the large double doors to push up her breasts and brush off dust from the robes. The guards posted to either side of the door did not so much as blink before as she made herself presentable before the wolfess stepped forward, pushing the doors open on her own. Ultemecia, mother of the son, the Kir dragon rider, bonded love of the mad king entered the large throne room with an air of authority to equal that of the man who sat upon the throne.

The thick barrel chested form of the king Lazarus sat upon a high-backed throne, his rugged squared jaw resting on one large fist propped on the left armrest. He was lost in his own thoughts, strategies and plans playing out in his mind's eye. Days were flowing by, greedily eaten up by time, becoming the past at an alarming rate and still there had been no sign of the prophesied rider. He was getting anxious, beginning to think the oracle had made a mistake. He drummed the fingers of his unoccupied hand on the other armrest, heavy rings making dull sounds as they impacted with the varnished wood of the thrown he sat upon. He was restless. The latest searches had been just as unfruitful as the others before them in finding the foretold rider.

He looked up abruptly, straightening himself in his thrown as the door opened with an exaggerated thunder across the great thrown room, setting the many tapestries to swinging with the breeze the gigantic, ornately carved door caused when it opened. A smile brightened his handsomely masculine features as his wife and bonded entered the chamber. "My love," he greeted warmly, "What brings you here at this hour?"

"My king," she bowed in a courtly manner as she reached the foot of the throne, "I wished to be the one to tell you." She smiled knowingly, her tail flicking against the robes that caught in an idle draft as she looked upon her husband.

"It appears that two dragons were sighted, two weeks ago, flying towards the now destroyed Dragonskeep. Scriers say that one was injured, delaying them previously. They would have only reached the ruins three days ago if the winds were kind," she explained, thorough with the facts. "One of the riders rode a pure white dragon that breathed ice. And the other-" she paused briefly, looking straight at her love, "The other dragon is armoured in twilight, who's rider, a mountain of a man, wields a great sword by the name of Hyperion, a great sword you had once gifted to the very man yourself," she continued with a smile, "Seems the Obsidian Knight has found himself some very interesting traveling companions." She watched her husband's face as she finished speaking, surprised by the relatively good turn of events.

The king stood, icy blue eyes bright with emotion as his wife spoke her tidings. "The rider of the prophecy? Is it so? And Seifer, rotten traitor that he is, is in the company of the new rider..." he trailed off, apparently thinking. Many ideas and plans that had been formed in his mind, were cast out and replaced with others as he stepped towards the kir, running a hand over the back of the dark hair and down to her neck to rub there affectionately. "We should speak with the oracle and have the scriers find where they have gone after finding the keep in ruin immediately."

"Of course my love," her smile unwavering as she responded, closing her eyes, accepting the warm touch of his hand upon her nape. The feel of him still made her heart skip a beat when he touched her. She was distracted for a moment before coming back to her sense and pulled away from him reluctantly. She grasped his hand in one of her own instead and began pulling him towards the east wing of the castle. "I've taken the liberty of telling them to prepare for you. I did not want to waste any time." Her golden eyes nearly glowed beneath the dark fur and hair. They were close, so close to their victory. "They are scrying and the Oracle is preparing for his ritual. I told him to wait until you were present."

"You are too clever my Queen," he said as he followed her, a large hand at the small of her back as they made their way from the thrown room towards the east wing where the scriers and oracle were waiting at the ready.

When he pushed the door open, all occupants save for the oracle bowed respectfully. He barely acknowledged them as he swept into the room, his wife at his side, his presence immediately filling the space in the room, intimidating the occupants easily. The scriers averted their gazes, murmuring softly to themselves as they prepared the things they needed to scry for the particular persons as their Queen had commanded, a heavy silver great sword laid out before them upon a silk covered table next to a risen basin of clear water set between the three scriers.

The oracle sat in a high backed chair, long mossy brown hair pulled up into several intricate braids along the Druid’s head, the greenish tinted skin seeming darker in the dim candlelight as he regarded all in the room with disinterest.

"Oracle, you know why I've come,” Lazarus said as he came to stand before the other creature. 

The oracle regarded the king silently for several moments before bowing his head slightly in affirmation. His robes were tinged with greenery ending at the rooted feet of the high backed chair he sat upon, verdant eyes watching the king before he stood with ghostly grace. The oracle motioned to his right with one bony hand. A twisted servant brought forth a pedestal, on top of which sat a squat, rusted cauldron. The murky black liquid bubbled within without the aid of any flame. The air around it seemed thicker, stagnant and lifeless.

The Druid whispered dark words, forgotten by all but the oldest of elements, hardly audible or understandable in the now silent room. A strange powder poured into his dark hand. The flickering light around the powder seemed darker, less forgiving than the voice in which he chanted. He deftly poured the powder into the bubbling liquid of the cauldron before him. As the last grain touched the surface, the darkness in the water began to congeal, flowing over and under itself, pushing ever closer towards the centre of the pot. It tumbled upwards and out of the now crystal clear water within the confines of the cauldron, the mass boiling and hissing in the air over the oracle’s outstretched hand. Wisps of white smoke snaked off of the coiling mixture, slithering up along the oracle’s arm.

The Druid opened pale, greenish lips and inhaled the white smoke deeply, eyes closing in concentration. The ball over his palm ignited suddenly and then dissipated altogether, leaving nothing in it’s wake as the last of the smoke breached the oracle’s lips. His chest became still without new breath and the druid's eyes were black as onyx when they opened once more, his face seeming different, as though something else wore his flesh. It looked at the king and queen, cocking its head to the side. Primal, feral, terrifying power swirled in the depths of the jet orbs of its eyes and it grinned darkly, revealing a sharp, black smile.

“Indeed, I know why you have come,” it whispered, echoing voices speaking of the darkest secrets and desires. “I know of that which you seek.” The blackness of the creature’s eyes sparked with flashes of dark intellect as it spoke. It suddenly stiffened, the Druid’s borrowed body becoming rigid before ominous words spilled forth from its mouth.

“One of fire.

One of Ice.

Elven Hope.

Human Vice.

One a warrior, beating stone.

One a mage, young, alone.

The knight in the dark.

The prophecy's chosen.

Lonely heart.

Love's betrayal.

Scales of white.

Scales of midnight.

United, the crown shall fall.

Divided, the crown shall rule.

Elves of the forests.

Dwarves of the mountains.

Keepers of the verdant green.

United, against the darkness raised

In human hands.

Seed of Ice and fire,

To the wolven prince.

When lands burn,

And rivers be stained with magical blood.

Lightning calls to the scales

And the war cries sound.

Balance of light and dark.

His choice

To determine which shall prevail.

Death, life, love, strife.”

The king listened intently as the dark creature took hold of the druid's form and spoke, the words of the prophecy, the future that was yet to come. He gritted his teeth, jaw clenching and his hand twitched against his wife's back as the creature poke without pause. The strange wording of the prophecy was confusing as nothing was set in stone, but the message was clear enough to the king. Seifer and the new rider must be separated from one another as swiftly as possible. It was clear to the king who the white and who the midnight was in the tale the oracle spun. And the bit at the end pertained to his very own son, but he did not fully comprehend what exactly the words directed at his heir meant. It was irrelevant for the time being. It would not come to pass as long as they managed to retrieve the two rogue riders before they had the chance to become bonded. And he fully intended to do just that and keep them separated for all eternity if necessary unless they pledged their allegiance to his cause, his kingdom.

He looked to his wife with a sidelong glance, a multitude of dark plans swirling in the depths of his icy blue eyes.

"Oracle, tell me how long do we have before the prophecy will come to pass? When will they bond?" he questioned, needing an outline for the amount of time he had in order to capture the two companions.

"Uncertain, unclear,” it spoke dismissively in response, the Druid’s body beginning to shudder violently, struggling to keep the darkness within confined.

“Scales already know.

Darkness breeds within the vice.

Beating stone, weathered, strong

But weaker now for what's been done.

To die before love

Or love before death.


The scales know.”

The creature spoke in a twisted sing song voice as though this were nothing more than an amusing game. “A wolf's betrayal will bring the crown from head to feet. This kingdom will burn with ice and flame. Madness to consume the king of corpses who laughs at the crown beneath his boots, Lazarusssss…” it hissed, pausing to gaze at the king a moment before continuing, “You shall have what you seek, but not that which matters to you most in time,” it finished with a wicked knowing smile, dark laughter echoing and tapering off into silence as the Druid’s body went limp, the dark spell expiring and leaving its host exhausted, falling unceremoniously back into the Earthen seat.

One of the scriers looked up abruptly from the water, his eyes unfocused and bloodshot. He blinked, rubbing them with one scarred fist. "East… They wish to parley with the Druids," he spoke in a sudden, strained voice. Again, the young scrier rubbed roughly at his eyes. The others did not notice as they merely continued to stare into the scrying basin in an unblinking, unflinching stare.

The king carded a hand roughly through his dark hair, Considering the words of his oracle and the scrier. The Druidaic forest was leagues away, hundreds in fact and even the closest troupes were at least ten days travel from the forested area by horse. Only on dragon back would that time be divided by three. He made a frustrated sound. They would have to wait until Seifer and his companion left the Druid lands to catch them. It was obvious what the two were up to, making peace and allies. They would move on from the Druids to the Elves or perhaps the Dwarves, both of which the king was uncertain of their exact locations, but with the scriers, they could surely catch the mismatched pair on their way as long as they drew closer.

"Come my love, let us go to our chambers and talk. There is much to be said," he suggested, one arm sliding more firmly around Ultemecia's slim waist.

The Queen tipped her head in a farewell to the scriers before glancing to her husband. "Lead the way my king." She smiled once again, walking close to him, enjoying the feeling of his arm around her. "They still have much work to do."

It was a short journey to the royal chambers. Finally, behind the lock of their chamber door, away from the toadies of court and prying ears of the hallways of their palace, the Queen spoke freely, "Now my love, what is it you wished to talk about?" She feigned playful ignorance, idly walking over towards one of the tables that held some of her books and study notes.

"What shall we do with our son?" he questioned in response to her inquiry, removing his tunic to reveal a muscled and scarred chest as he spoke. He toed off his boots before following his wife further into the room.

Their son in question was being kept in a monastery in the mountains as it was, but with the reiteration of the prophecy and the cryptic, unstable timeline for it to come to fruition made the king anxious to have his heir where he could keep his own close watch on the young prince. He seated himself on the bed, folding one leg beneath his large frame as he sat and looked at the beautiful creature before him.

Their boy, Zell had once been the pride and joy of his father, until the prophecy had been foretold and Lazarus knew that isolation of the boy hurt his bonded and their child as well, but he had no seen any other way to keep him safe from the words of the oracle.

Ultemecia visibly winced in response to mention of their beloved son, taking off her robes unconsciously and letting them fall to pool at her feet. She had always preferred the comfort of nudity, finding that clothing did not feel right against her fur. She shook her head, sending tousled dark locks of hair about her shoulders and neck. "You locked him away in a monastery, keep him there and maybe he'll play no part in this war of yours." She wished she could believe her own words, but she dearly missed her child. "But, he never forgave you for that. Maybe if you were to bring him back, instruct him, a sort of father-son bonding between a king and his heir," she tried to hide the hope in her voice as she moved over to sit behind her husband, hands slowly massaging his shoulders. "I know why you sent him away. It was the right thing to do then and I don't want him to get hurt. I know you'll do what's right for this kingdom.," she whispered reassuringly, lips close to his neck as she rested her head on his shoulder gently.

"I'll send for him," Lazarus replied, tilting his head so she could better access the tense muscles there. He could feel the knots loosening beneath her hands before she leaned against him, her fur soft on the flesh of his back. "I wish it had not been so. Perhaps this will be the time to reconcile," he sighed quietly, covering one of her hands with his own large one.

"We must find Almasy and the Elfling. We cannot lose this kingdom."

The Queen gave a soft smile, trying not to betray her joy upon hearing his answer. Her arms slipped down around her husband's waist, holding him tightly, feeling his heart beating against her own. She basked in his scent, the feel of his comforting hand covering her own as she closed her eyes slowly.

"Thank you love," she murmured quietly, holding her king to herself, "I know that you won't lose the kingdom we have fought so hard to obtain."

"Zell loves you, but when you bring him home, give him time. Show him you still care for him," she breathed, gently kissing his neck. She knew her kin in the courts would be overjoyed that the prodigal son would return. The only heir to the throne that they would ever have.

The king tilted his head, revealing more of his neck to his wife's gentle lips, sighing softly as the tenseness bled from his muscles. He pulled the hand held in his to his lips and kissed it tenderly, reveling in the soft feeling of fur beneath his lips.

Reluctantly, he pulled away from his wife to lay back on the plush mattress instead, before reaching for her, pulling her in close against his thick chest. He wrapped his arms around her, squeezing a little before relaxing. "It has always made my heart ache with anguish, having sent our only son away. Zell is and always will be the heir to this throne, though the oracle’s words are worrisome. I can no longer turn him away. It is time to bring our boy home and make things right," he said quietly, his rough voice taking on a husky tone.

"We will take the knight and his cohort and convince them to side with us. Otherwise, I'll kill them."

The wolfess gave a soft chuckle, laying down next to her king and gazing up at him. "Really?" her voice purred softly, one charcoal furred hand trailing up and down her husband's chest in random patterns as she spoke, "You would kill the Obsidian Knight?" She slipped a leg over his. "I thought he was one of your favorites." She gave a playful jab to his abdomen with her claws. "He was always one of mine," she arched a dark brow, almost suggestively as he words fell from her lips. "Shouldn't be too hard to sway him, after all, where else can he go now?" She leaned upwards, kissing the bottom of Lazarus’ chin. "I must admit though, I almost wish him to refuse; I may have a score to settle with him.”

Lazarus gave a soft rumble of acknowledgment in his throat, "I would kill him to protect what is ours. Favourite or not, he will not destroy this kingdom," he vowed with an air of finality as his wife pressed closer to him, a soft leg sliding over his own. He smiled slightly when she gave him a playful nip with her claws and her lips pressed against his chin.

"Should I leave his fate to you then my love?" he questioned idly at the statement his mate had last spoken.

"I think I can be most persuasive to have him follow your banner once again, my lord," she said seductively as she pushed herself up, sliding across his lap, looking down at the face of her love intently. "If not, then I'm sure I can find a use for him, one away or another." A pointed claw tapped against her love's shoulder with every syllable, a devilish glint flashing in golden irises and Lazarus could almost see the tortures his wife would no doubt enjoy inflicting on their once ally.

The velvet soft grey fur on her front rubbed against the king as she pressed closer, leaning in to barely a breath could be between them. "Besides, I am very curious to know why he decided to change his colors so suddenly when we were only gaining more power," she mused idly.

"I have no doubt in your powers of persuasion my love," Lazarus spoke with a knowing grin as his wife straddled him. He slid large hands to her hips, rubbing the palms over the soft fur there, before continuing in response to her musings, "As am I. What could they have offered to turn him traitor?" he pondered idly, agreeing with his wife's curiosity. He slid one hand up her side to her back, twirling his fingers through the long locks that cascaded down her back as he watched her, their bodies fitting together perfectly, his other hand resting on her hip, his thumb rubbing circles over a tempting hipbone.

She rocked back on her king’s lap in a suggestive manner. "Maybe he knows of the prophecy?" she suggested idly, although she doubted her own words. Seifer had always been too stubborn to put much weight behind empty words from the mouth of a Druid no less. "No, he is far too materialistic, whatever made him turn coat had to be worth more than the spoils of war," she considered out loud before a mocking grin tugged at her mouth. "You don't suppose he found religion?" she joked, amused by the thought.

The king chuckled deep in his chest at his wife's jesting tone. "Unlikely. Perhaps they found something to blackmail him with..." he said idly in response, tone distracted as he pressed up more firmly again his mate's rocking hips, leaning up to kiss her briefly as she leaned over him. He smiled into the kiss, "Or perhaps they just have lovelier whores…"

The wolfess’ laughter rang out sharply in the dim room as she pushed downward against her king in a teasing manner, her bushy grey tail flicking back and forth between her lover's legs gleefully. Ultemecia bit her tongue as she gazed down at her king, deciding not to further pursue their conversation. "Enough talk of our wayward knight," she whispered, her voice a sultry lilt as her golden eyes met those of her bonded.

"Certainly there are more interesting topics to explore at the moment," she punctuated the statement with a suggestive squeeze of her thighs as she leaned down to kiss her husband again. He merely hummed in response, returning the kiss with equal enthusiasm, all too pleased to push the plans to the back of his exhausted mind for a time.



So, I know it's kinda awkward with the sort of sexual tension between Ultemecia and Lazarus, but hey, they're both crazy for each other... Uhh, I mean crazy in general and yeah, Zell's their kid, seriously don't think too hard about it; it's not pretty... But it's necessary for plot, so deal. Sorry if any of it made any of you nice folks uncomfortable... If it makes any of you feel better, there is absolutely no smut going to take place between them and the above chapter is about as naughty as it'll get.

Anyhow, comments are always welcome.


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